The Cyd project team has been nagging me to write a blog post for a while now, but I was pushing back until we reached this point in the project and so I’ve now bowed to their pressure!
My name is David Nicholson and I’m the Senior Responsible Owner for the Procurement Centre of Excellence (PCoE) initiative. I took on the part time role in May 2021 following two recommendations received by Welsh Government.
One recommendation was from the Future Generations Commissioner (FGC) for Wales and the other was from a procurement expert panel convened by the then, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport.
Both recommendations highlighted the benefits of such a centre. I also had some prior exposure to the establishment of the Centre for Digital Public Services which was mentioned in both recommendations.
The PCoE initiative kicked off over the summer 2021 with a Discovery exercise to look at the recommendations in more detail and to understand what problem we were trying to solve. The Discovery findings were shared publicly in February 2022 by the Minister for Finance and Local Government in a written statement.
The discovery confirmed that a procurement centre of excellence would be beneficial to the Welsh public sector and identified what the potential services could look like.
In Summer 2022 we completed a procurement to select a supplier to run an Alpha that would start to build and test the services. The chosen initial policy focus area for the Alpha was Net Zero, with a complimentary focus on Learning and Development.
The project focused on a six month Alpha to build and test the following services:
- Service 1 – Create the community
- Service 2 – Share Best Practice
- Service 3 – Develop Insight
- Service 4 – Support Training
While the Alpha was due to start in October 2022, in reality, it started for the community at Procurex Wales in November when I had the opportunity to give a presentation on the concept and the project team started to introduce themselves to the procurement community and build connections.
Fast forward to 31 March, the date the Alpha officially ends.
Reflecting on progress
Looking back I find it incredible to think of all of the work that has gone into taking forward the recommendations forward. The pace has certainly picked up since Procurex last year. Cyd as a brand has now replaced the name Procurement Centre of Excellence.
We have a website and associated services up and running and there has been a tremendous amount of engagement from the procurement community into not just the initial focus areas of Net Zero and Learning & Development but also into how the Cyd services can and should evolve.
I do want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of the journey so far, because without your help and support we wouldn’t have got this far.
So, is that it? What happens next? These are the questions I would be asking if I was reading this blog. The answer is in the title; unfinished business. We now need to evaluate how successful the Alpha has been and understand the emerging priorities for the new financial year.
It’s really important that we keep momentum with the Cyd services that are already being delivered and to allow them to continue to be developed so we’ll be extending the Alpha to 30 June. This will let us gather the necessary evidence, continue to develop the services already in place and agree next steps.
If you have any feedback on how you think the Alpha has gone so far or if you have any suggestions for areas of focus for the next stage I would be very happy for you to contact me via the Cyd project with your feedback.
Senior Responsible Owner – Cyd Alpha project